Category Archives: Urban Design

The Problem with Anchoring

A major idea due to Jarrett Walker, adopted with gusto by Vancouver’s Translink, is that transit should be anchored at both ends. That is, transit lines should have busy destinations at both ends, and should strive to reorient development such … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism, Vancouver | 36 Comments

How Residential Blocks Act As Barriers

Two weeks ago, I found a board game store in Vancouver, and through it a variety of gaming events. The store is located about five blocks from my apartment, and I first saw it from a bus nearly two months … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Personal/Admin, Urban Design, Urbanism, Vancouver | 17 Comments

Pedestrian Observations from Vancouver: Street Width and Building Height

I moved to Vancouver last weekend. The slow pace of posting will probably continue for another week, but I do have multiple posts in the pipeline. I am currently at a downtown hotel, commuting to Kitsilano to look at apartments … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Personal/Admin, Urban Design, Urbanism, Vancouver | 26 Comments

Pedestrian Observations from New Haven

I don’t normally pedestrian-observe cities that I’ve been to so many times, and New Haven is the US city I’ve spent the most time in other than the two I’ve lived in. But my last visit, in which I looked … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Pedestrian Observations, Urban Design, Urbanism | 25 Comments

Transportation-Development Symbiosis

The RPA’s Regional Assembly has included the following idea submission: expand reverse-commuter rail service. The proposal calls for surveying city residents to look for the main available reverse-commuter markets, and for expanding reverse-peak service on the model of Metro-North. It … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Good Transit, New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Design, Urbanism | 36 Comments

Providence: The Quiet Revival

Rustwire’s recent article about Providence, and a less recent article on the Urbanophile, have made me think about Providence’s growth. The Urbanophile comes strongly on the side of the power of its coziness; Rustwire takes the opposite track, talking about … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Providence, Urban Design, Urbanism | 8 Comments

Macrodestinations and Microdestinations

In her book Dark Age Ahead, Jane Jacobs complains that freeways as built are good at getting people to macrodestinations (downtown) but not microdestinations (particular addresses within city center). In her example from Toronto, this is correct, but in general, … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Development, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 29 Comments

Trip Chaining

Gendered Innovations’ charts of trip chaining and gender breakdown of public transit riders got me thinking about how different systems of transportation handle a mixture of short and long trips. Eric Jaffe at The Atlantic Cities reports this and suggests … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Development, Good Transit, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 16 Comments

Different Kinds of Centralization (Hoisted from Comments)

As an addendum to my post about transit cities and centralization, let me explain that the term centralized city really means two different things. One is diffuse centralization throughout the core, typical of pedestrian cities and bus cities and of … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 5 Comments

A Transit City is a Centralized City

In New York, a large fraction of employment clusters in a rectangle bounded roughly by 59th Street, 2nd Avenue, 42nd Street, and 9th Avenue. Although it’s a commonplace that New York employment is centralized around Manhattan, in reality most of … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 36 Comments